buying Microsoft Office first time


Robert Logue
 

I've never owned MS Office. I'm using Jaws 16 and Windows 7 64. I don't like the ribbons in Word pad.
My questions are.
1: Which version of Office with Outlook works best today with Jaws 16 or 17?
2. Where can I get a good deal on older versions if they are still best?
3. Are there subsidies for blind people who are not students or employed?
4. Has anyone used Office 360 who can compare it to older versions?

Lots of questions.
I simply feel it is about time I got learning and using office with Outlook.

I don't have any specific goals. Just want to see if I might be better organized using these tools.

Bob


 

Bob,

            The first version of MS-Office with the Ribbon is Office 2007, which gives you an idea of how long ago the ribbon became the default.  Even if you were able to secure a copy Office 2003 I would strongly suggest you don't.  Official support for Office 2003 ended in 2014, and no one, including Freedom Scientific, is doing their ongoing development on top of non-supported versions of Office.  I'd suggest Office 2010, which has extended support through 2020, or Office 2013, which has extended support through 2023.

             I prefer a version of Office that's fully installed locally on the machine, and I think that Office 2013 was the last version that worked entirely locally.  Office 365 has a lot of web-based features and I think Office 2016 does, too, though I can't speak to that in detail.

             You may want to consider either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, as opposed to Microsoft Office, if cost is a factor and/or you just want to get a sense of what a full office suite is like.  Freedom Scientific should be able to tell you whether there is any JAWS support for either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, but those are the two biggest competitors to Microsoft Office and both are open-source projects that have been around for quite a while and that have large user bases.  Both of these suites can open files generated by MS-Office.

Brian


Robert Logue
 

Thanks Brian. 
I would like to have a local version of MS Office. 

I did try your suggestions a while ago of LibreOffice
and OpenOffice. I didn't find them satisfactory with Jaws.  Difficult to learn when there are no Jaws users using those products near by.  I want to use MS Office for good local support.

I'm shocked how much Office Home and Office 2013 costs in Canada.  Did I get that name right?  The version with Outlook.


Bob

On 1/25/2016 4:39 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:

Bob,

            The first version of MS-Office with the Ribbon is Office 2007, which gives you an idea of how long ago the ribbon became the default.  Even if you were able to secure a copy Office 2003 I would strongly suggest you don't.  Official support for Office 2003 ended in 2014, and no one, including Freedom Scientific, is doing their ongoing development on top of non-supported versions of Office.  I'd suggest Office 2010, which has extended support through 2020, or Office 2013, which has extended support through 2023.

             I prefer a version of Office that's fully installed locally on the machine, and I think that Office 2013 was the last version that worked entirely locally.  Office 365 has a lot of web-based features and I think Office 2016 does, too, though I can't speak to that in detail.

             You may want to consider either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, as opposed to Microsoft Office, if cost is a factor and/or you just want to get a sense of what a full office suite is like.  Freedom Scientific should be able to tell you whether there is any JAWS support for either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, but those are the two biggest competitors to Microsoft Office and both are open-source projects that have been around for quite a while and that have large user bases.  Both of these suites can open files generated by MS-Office.

Brian



Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...>
 

If you are going to use office and Outlook, there is no escaping the ribbons. Eventually, you learn Alt what to hit and just go there. The ribbons are sort of, in my mind, a sideways menu. If your fiances are a problem, 365 might be the way to go, since you just pay as you use it, $9.99 a month. It does cost more in the long run, but you might not want to run for a long time, or something else could become available.

Bye for now,

Carolyn

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Logue [mailto:bobcat11@shaw.ca]
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 6:19 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: buying Microsoft Office first time

I've never owned MS Office. I'm using Jaws 16 and Windows 7 64. I don't like the ribbons in Word pad.
My questions are.
1: Which version of Office with Outlook works best today with Jaws 16 or 17?
2. Where can I get a good deal on older versions if they are still best?
3. Are there subsidies for blind people who are not students or employed?
4. Has anyone used Office 360 who can compare it to older versions?

Lots of questions.
I simply feel it is about time I got learning and using office with Outlook.

I don't have any specific goals. Just want to see if I might be better organized using these tools.

Bob


 

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 04:54 pm, Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...> wrote:
there is no escaping the ribbons. Eventually, you learn Alt what to hit and just go there. The ribbons are sort of, in my mind, a sideways menu.

 Precisely, precisely, and precisely.

I miss the menus, but that's because I was "raised on" the menus.  There's nothing that's more intuitive about the menu system than the ribbon system, it's just that those of us who were used to the former were quite jolted by the latter.  The relocation of stuff, particularly since I don't use keyboard shortcuts as my primary access method, was very jarring.  The majority of "the common controls" use the same keyboard shortcuts that they have since the inception of MS-Office.

Brian


HH. Smith Jr.
 

Hi Guys,

 

Have you tried telling JAWS to use the virtual ribbon. It is found in the help menu of JAWS under the start-up wizard about three screens in. check the box and JAWS will view the menu as vertical rather than horizontal.

 

From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@...]
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 9:05 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

 

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 04:54 pm, Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...> wrote:

there is no escaping the ribbons. Eventually, you learn Alt what to hit and just go there. The ribbons are sort of, in my mind, a sideways menu.

 Precisely, precisely, and precisely.

I miss the menus, but that's because I was "raised on" the menus.  There's nothing that's more intuitive about the menu system than the ribbon system, it's just that those of us who were used to the former were quite jolted by the latter.  The relocation of stuff, particularly since I don't use keyboard shortcuts as my primary access method, was very jarring.  The majority of "the common controls" use the same keyboard shortcuts that they have since the inception of MS-Office.

Brian

This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast.
www.avast.com


Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...>
 

Somehow that does not work well for me rather than just diving into the regular ribbon.

Bye for now,

Carolyn

-----Original Message-----
From: HH. Smith Jr. [mailto:teos1@islands.vi]
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 8:27 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

Hi Guys,



Have you tried telling JAWS to use the virtual ribbon. It is found in the help menu of JAWS under the start-up wizard about three screens in. check the box and JAWS will view the menu as vertical rather than horizontal.



From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 9:05 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time



On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 04:54 pm, Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@windstream.net <mailto:4carolyna@windstream.net> > wrote:

there is no escaping the ribbons. Eventually, you learn Alt what to hit and just go there. The ribbons are sort of, in my mind, a sideways menu.

Precisely, precisely, and precisely.

I miss the menus, but that's because I was "raised on" the menus. There's nothing that's more intuitive about the menu system than the ribbon system, it's just that those of us who were used to the former were quite jolted by the latter. The relocation of stuff, particularly since I don't use keyboard shortcuts as my primary access method, was very jarring. The majority of "the common controls" use the same keyboard shortcuts that they have since the inception of MS-Office.

Brian

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Brad Martin
 

I tend to agree with Brian, and I can tell you that OpenOffice works quite well with JAWS now. That wasn't always the case. It doesn't come with a mail program, but you could use Thunderbird for that purpose, and it apparently now comes with a calendar, although I don't use that function at all.

If you're planning to enter the corporate world, you almost have to learn Office and Outlook, but that's not where you are heading in life, OpenOffice works quite well for home use. I know that LibreOffice is a fork from the old OpenOffice and is in some ways a little more feature rich, but I've never tested it with JAWS.

Brad


On 1/25/2016 5:39 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:

Bob,

            The first version of MS-Office with the Ribbon is Office 2007, which gives you an idea of how long ago the ribbon became the default.  Even if you were able to secure a copy Office 2003 I would strongly suggest you don't.  Official support for Office 2003 ended in 2014, and no one, including Freedom Scientific, is doing their ongoing development on top of non-supported versions of Office.  I'd suggest Office 2010, which has extended support through 2020, or Office 2013, which has extended support through 2023.

             I prefer a version of Office that's fully installed locally on the machine, and I think that Office 2013 was the last version that worked entirely locally.  Office 365 has a lot of web-based features and I think Office 2016 does, too, though I can't speak to that in detail.

             You may want to consider either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, as opposed to Microsoft Office, if cost is a factor and/or you just want to get a sense of what a full office suite is like.  Freedom Scientific should be able to tell you whether there is any JAWS support for either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, but those are the two biggest competitors to Microsoft Office and both are open-source projects that have been around for quite a while and that have large user bases.  Both of these suites can open files generated by MS-Office.

Brian



Les Kriegler <kriegler@...>
 

I have a local copy of Office 2016. I will be unsub scribing from Office 365 and getting a partial refund of my annual subscription. Personally, I don't usually care for subscription services for software as you just keep on paying.

Les

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 6:40 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

Bob,

The first version of MS-Office with the Ribbon is Office 2007, which gives you an idea of how long ago the ribbon became the default. Even if you were able to secure a copy Office 2003 I would strongly suggest you don't. Official support for Office 2003 ended in 2014, and no one, including Freedom Scientific, is doing their ongoing development on top of non-supported versions of Office. I'd suggest Office 2010, which has extended support through 2020, or Office 2013, which has extended support through 2023.

I prefer a version of Office that's fully installed locally on the machine, and I think that Office 2013 was the last version that worked entirely locally. Office 365 has a lot of web-based features and I think Office 2016 does, too, though I can't speak to that in detail.

You may want to consider either LibreOffice <https://www.libreoffice.org/> or OpenOffice <http://openoffice.org> , as opposed to Microsoft Office, if cost is a factor and/or you just want to get a sense of what a full office suite is like. Freedom Scientific should be able to tell you whether there is any JAWS support for either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, but those are the two biggest competitors to Microsoft Office and both are open-source projects that have been around for quite a while and that have large user bases. Both of these suites can open files generated by MS-Office.

Brian


Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...>
 

That is why I ruled out Office 365.


Bye for now,

Carolyn

-----Original Message-----
From: Les Kriegler [mailto:kriegler@nycap.rr.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 5:49 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

I have a local copy of Office 2016. I will be unsub scribing from Office 365 and getting a partial refund of my annual subscription. Personally, I don't usually care for subscription services for software as you just keep on paying.

Les

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 6:40 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

Bob,

The first version of MS-Office with the Ribbon is Office 2007, which gives you an idea of how long ago the ribbon became the default. Even if you were able to secure a copy Office 2003 I would strongly suggest you don't. Official support for Office 2003 ended in 2014, and no one, including Freedom Scientific, is doing their ongoing development on top of non-supported versions of Office. I'd suggest Office 2010, which has extended support through 2020, or Office 2013, which has extended support through 2023.

I prefer a version of Office that's fully installed locally on the machine, and I think that Office 2013 was the last version that worked entirely locally. Office 365 has a lot of web-based features and I think Office 2016 does, too, though I can't speak to that in detail.

You may want to consider either LibreOffice <https://www.libreoffice.org/> or OpenOffice <http://openoffice.org> , as opposed to Microsoft Office, if cost is a factor and/or you just want to get a sense of what a full office suite is like. Freedom Scientific should be able to tell you whether there is any JAWS support for either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, but those are the two biggest competitors to Microsoft Office and both are open-source projects that have been around for quite a while and that have large user bases. Both of these suites can open files generated by MS-Office.

Brian


Robert Logue
 

Hi Les. Can you use all the regular Office features without an internet connection? It has been said that More of Office 2016 is in the clouds. I wonder if there is a document that compares features and functions running locally wihtout Internet to cloud functions.

Brad. I'll give Open Office another try.

Brian. The item on e-bay is not available now. I've heard stories about resellers product keys that expire and are not recognized by Microsoft after a while. Glad you got the real deal.

Bob

On 1/26/2016 3:49 AM, Les Kriegler wrote:
I have a local copy of Office 2016. I will be unsub scribing from Office 365 and getting a partial refund of my annual subscription. Personally, I don't usually care for subscription services for software as you just keep on paying.

Les

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 6:40 PM
To:jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

Bob,

The first version of MS-Office with the Ribbon is Office 2007, which gives you an idea of how long ago the ribbon became the default. Even if you were able to secure a copy Office 2003 I would strongly suggest you don't. Official support for Office 2003 ended in 2014, and no one, including Freedom Scientific, is doing their ongoing development on top of non-supported versions of Office. I'd suggest Office 2010, which has extended support through 2020, or Office 2013, which has extended support through 2023.

I prefer a version of Office that's fully installed locally on the machine, and I think that Office 2013 was the last version that worked entirely locally. Office 365 has a lot of web-based features and I think Office 2016 does, too, though I can't speak to that in detail.

You may want to consider either LibreOffice<https://www.libreoffice.org/> or OpenOffice<http://openoffice.org> , as opposed to Microsoft Office, if cost is a factor and/or you just want to get a sense of what a full office suite is like. Freedom Scientific should be able to tell you whether there is any JAWS support for either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, but those are the two biggest competitors to Microsoft Office and both are open-source projects that have been around for quite a while and that have large user bases. Both of these suites can open files generated by MS-Office.

Brian





Robert Logue
 

Actually there is a serious difference to me with ribbons.  That is they are not liniar navigation.  Movegating I mean navigating but I think I invented a new word combining navigating with moving.through them changes depending on where you are and what  direction you go.  So, exploring them is more difficult for me. 

However, if one can customize keyboard shortcuts, than I suppose I'd be able to use them more effectively.
Are ribbons in Office customizable?  I only know Wordpad ribbons which frustrate the heck out of me.

Bob


On 1/25/2016 6:05 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 04:54 pm, Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...> wrote:
there is no escaping the ribbons. Eventually, you learn Alt what to hit and just go there. The ribbons are sort of, in my mind, a sideways menu.

 Precisely, precisely, and precisely.

I miss the menus, but that's because I was "raised on" the menus.  There's nothing that's more intuitive about the menu system than the ribbon system, it's just that those of us who were used to the former were quite jolted by the latter.  The relocation of stuff, particularly since I don't use keyboard shortcuts as my primary access method, was very jarring.  The majority of "the common controls" use the same keyboard shortcuts that they have since the inception of MS-Office.

Brian



HH. Smith Jr.
 

Hi Robert,

 

In an earlier post, I wrote that in the JAWS start-up wizard, insert+j then alt H, z about three windows in click the checkbox virtual ribbon menus. This will give you horizontal menus. It is on the same dialog box in the start-up wizard as smart navigation 4tabs down.

If the virtual ribbon menus checkbox is check then menus are vertical.

From: Robert Logue [mailto:bobcat11@...]
Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2016 8:26 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

 

Actually there is a serious difference to me with ribbons.  That is they are not liniar navigation.  Movegating I mean navigating but I think I invented a new word combining navigating with moving.through them changes depending on where you are and what  direction you go.  So, exploring them is more difficult for me. 

However, if one can customize keyboard shortcuts, than I suppose I'd be able to use them more effectively.
Are ribbons in Office customizable?  I only know Wordpad ribbons which frustrate the heck out of me.

Bob

On 1/25/2016 6:05 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 04:54 pm, Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...> wrote:

there is no escaping the ribbons. Eventually, you learn Alt what to hit and just go there. The ribbons are sort of, in my mind, a sideways menu.

 Precisely, precisely, and precisely.

I miss the menus, but that's because I was "raised on" the menus.  There's nothing that's more intuitive about the menu system than the ribbon system, it's just that those of us who were used to the former were quite jolted by the latter.  The relocation of stuff, particularly since I don't use keyboard shortcuts as my primary access method, was very jarring.  The majority of "the common controls" use the same keyboard shortcuts that they have since the inception of MS-Office.

Brian

 

This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast.
www.avast.com


 

On Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 04:25 pm, Robert Logue <bobcat11@...> wrote:
Actually there is a serious difference to me with ribbons.  That is they are not liniar navigation. 

 Robert,

           I've had an extended private back an forth on the Ribbons with another regular here off-forum.  He taught me a new things and, I hope, vice versa.

           The first thing he made me aware of is that the custom for going through menus was almost strictly using arrow keys.  That's definitely the direct route to madness with the ribbons.  TAB and SHIFT+TAB are the ways to move sequentially through (and even between, if you keep on going) the various ribbon groups, which can be thought of as submenus if you think of the ribbon as a whole as a menu.  You can move directly from one group to the next one/previous one, using CTRL+Right Arrow/Left Arrow.  Eventually this can move you out of the Ribbon to a couple of other controls that are in "the general area" but are not in the ribbon itself.  I'll use WordPad and the Home Ribbon as an example.  I always teach my clients to invoke a ribbon with whatever ALT+letter combination is appropriate, ALT+H in this example, then to use a single TAB to enter the rightmost group in a ribbon, and that's virtually always the Clipboard group.  If you keep hitting TAB you will go through each control in the Clipboard group then, once you're on the last one, the next tab takes you to the Font group, and "lather, rinse, repeat" with using TAB or SHIFT+TAB if you want to go forward/backward one control in a given group.  When you hit the last control in a group, the next TAB will always take you to the first control in the next group over, so in WordPad that would be Clipboard, Font, Paragraph, Insert, and Editing.  Of course, once one is familiar with what's in each of the groups you certainly don't want to TAB yourself to death, so, you can use the CTRL+Right Arrow/Left Arrow to jump between them then TAB to the specific control you want.  Finally, for controls you find are part of your "greatest hits" collection it's worth learning the keyboard shortcut that gets you directly to it.  For example, the Font selection dropdown can be reached directly, and ready for you to change it, using ALT+H+F1 in WordPad.  Since other programs, e.g., MS-Word, have a lot more options in the Font Group than WordPad does the keyboard shortcuts will vary a bit.  Getting directly to font selection in all the MS-Office programs is ALT+H+FF and, so far, all of the controls that "span programs" in Office also share the same keyboard shortcut in each of them.

           The various ribbons in MS-Office are customizable, wildly so in fact.  If you bring up the File tab, Options Option, which I suggest you do with ALT+F,T, "Customize Ribbon" is one of the options.  Getting into the mechanics of customizing the ribbon itself is outside the scope of this brief conversation.  Since the Ribbon content is dependent on the program in question, though many similarities exist between the various programs, you have to customize the ribbon(s) for each program within that program.  But the previously mentioned key sequence will bring up the Options dialog in any of the Office suite programs.  I generally discourage customizing the ribbons, or at least extensively so, because if you have to use another machine with the "usual Office default layout" you often end up quickly lost and/or frustrated because you're not accustomed to the typical layout.  But only you know whether that's a legitimate concern in your own circumstances.

           Try what I mentioned in the first paragraph for navigating in any ribbon and I suspect you'll find it a lot less hellish than you currently do.  

Brian


Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...>
 

Thanks, Brian. That ribbon information is a saver.

Bye for now,

Carolyn

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2016 8:10 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

On Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 04:25 pm, Robert Logue <bobcat11@shaw.ca> wrote:


Actually there is a serious difference to me with ribbons. That is they are not liniar navigation.

Robert,

I've had an extended private back an forth on the Ribbons with another regular here off-forum. He taught me a new things and, I hope, vice versa.

The first thing he made me aware of is that the custom for going through menus was almost strictly using arrow keys. That's definitely the direct route to madness with the ribbons. TAB and SHIFT+TAB are the ways to move sequentially through (and even between, if you keep on going) the various ribbon groups, which can be thought of as submenus if you think of the ribbon as a whole as a menu. You can move directly from one group to the next one/previous one, using CTRL+Right Arrow/Left Arrow. Eventually this can move you out of the Ribbon to a couple of other controls that are in "the general area" but are not in the ribbon itself. I'll use WordPad and the Home Ribbon as an example. I always teach my clients to invoke a ribbon with whatever ALT+letter combination is appropriate, ALT+H in this example, then to use a single TAB to enter the rightmost group in a ribbon, and that's virtually always the Clipboard group. If you keep hitting TAB you will go through each control in the Clipboard group then, once you're on the last one, the next tab takes you to the Font group, and "lather, rinse, repeat" with using TAB or SHIFT+TAB if you want to go forward/backward one control in a given group. When you hit the last control in a group, the next TAB will always take you to the first control in the next group over, so in WordPad that would be Clipboard, Font, Paragraph, Insert, and Editing. Of course, once one is familiar with what's in each of the groups you certainly don't want to TAB yourself to death, so, you can use the CTRL+Right Arrow/Left Arrow to jump between them then TAB to the specific control you want. Finally, for controls you find are part of your "greatest hits" collection it's worth learning the keyboard shortcut that gets you directly to it. For example, the Font selection dropdown can be reached directly, and ready for you to change it, using ALT+H+F1 in WordPad. Since other programs, e.g., MS-Word, have a lot more options in the Font Group than WordPad does the keyboard shortcuts will vary a bit. Getting directly to font selection in all the MS-Office programs is ALT+H+FF and, so far, all of the controls that "span programs" in Office also share the same keyboard shortcut in each of them.

The various ribbons in MS-Office are customizable, wildly so in fact. If you bring up the File tab, Options Option, which I suggest you do with ALT+F,T, "Customize Ribbon" is one of the options. Getting into the mechanics of customizing the ribbon itself is outside the scope of this brief conversation. Since the Ribbon content is dependent on the program in question, though many similarities exist between the various programs, you have to customize the ribbon(s) for each program within that program. But the previously mentioned key sequence will bring up the Options dialog in any of the Office suite programs. I generally discourage customizing the ribbons, or at least extensively so, because if you have to use another machine with the "usual Office default layout" you often end up quickly lost and/or frustrated because you're not accustomed to the typical layout. But only you know whether that's a legitimate concern in your own circumstances.

Try what I mentioned in the first paragraph for navigating in any ribbon and I suspect you'll find it a lot less hellish than you currently do.

Brian


Adrian Spratt
 

Bob,

 

I like “movegating.” I agree, ribbons are nothing like file menus. However, that doesn’t make them impossible.

 

For me, the first stage in coming to terms with them is that familiar Word shortcuts still apply. No need to find “open” in the ribbons if you already know that control-o does the job in a single keystroke.

 

The second stage for me was to focus on a command for which I didn’t know any shortcut. For example, how to insert page numbers in a Word document? The answer to such a question is readily available via Google, with such search terms as

Word (version number), how do I start page numbers?

The first search result may or may not give you an accessible method, but I’ve always found one quickly. I also have CathyAnne Murtha’s text book, where she lists many of these methods. Typically, the way to get to a command is to press a certain letter with the alt key, then one or two letters in quick sequence right after.

 

I make a list of the methods I acquire. It isn’t by keystroke, but by feature, control or command.

 

By the time you’ve accumulated shortcuts and other ways to get at the features you use the most, you’ll have done a little ribbon movegating as a byproduct. You’ll come to notice certain patterns.

 

For example, if you press alt-f in Word, then arrow down, you’ll encounter one by one several broad categories. If you find a general category that may cover a feature that interests you, use tab and control-tab to navigate that particular ribbon to get a sense of the connections that Microsoft makes.

 

It’s good to find these broad categories to minimize endless tabbing and control-tabbing, which some of these ribbons can entail.

 

As with so much in life, following these three stages helps you pick up a sense of the ribbons by osmosis. There’s no point in figuring out and remembering all the ribbons, the way I did with the file menus. But in less time than you’d expect, you will accumulate a list of the features you rely on for each Office application you use.

 

From: Robert Logue [mailto:bobcat11@...]
Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2016 7:26 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

 

Actually there is a serious difference to me with ribbons.  That is they are not liniar navigation.  Movegating I mean navigating but I think I invented a new word combining navigating with moving.through them changes depending on where you are and what  direction you go.  So, exploring them is more difficult for me. 

However, if one can customize keyboard shortcuts, than I suppose I'd be able to use them more effectively.
Are ribbons in Office customizable?  I only know Wordpad ribbons which frustrate the heck out of me.

Bob

On 1/25/2016 6:05 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 04:54 pm, Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...> wrote:

there is no escaping the ribbons. Eventually, you learn Alt what to hit and just go there. The ribbons are sort of, in my mind, a sideways menu.

 Precisely, precisely, and precisely.

I miss the menus, but that's because I was "raised on" the menus.  There's nothing that's more intuitive about the menu system than the ribbon system, it's just that those of us who were used to the former were quite jolted by the latter.  The relocation of stuff, particularly since I don't use keyboard shortcuts as my primary access method, was very jarring.  The majority of "the common controls" use the same keyboard shortcuts that they have since the inception of MS-Office.

Brian

 


 

On Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 05:09 pm, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:
enter the rightmost group in a ribbon

 Oops, that should be leftmost.  If you invoke a ribbon and hit tab once, you always enter at the left side and work your way rightward.

As Adrian has confirmed, once you've done a few traversals of the different ribbons you tend to pick up the structure and what's grouped together pretty quickly.  You also start compiling your personal "greatest hits" list of keyboard shortcuts for the things you use frequently, and even often enough that you don't want to figure them out each time you need to do them again.

The various ribbons make a lot more sense when you can traverse each in a structured way, and boy did I ever learn that, as a general rule, use of the arrow keys does anything but that!!  You still have to use them occasionally, though.  When you land in the Font or Font size, both of these are dropdown boxes and you do, of course open and traverse those with the down arrow (and up arrow, to work back up) keys.  For things like the text color chooser you can use all four arrow keys once you're in the color grid.

Brian


Lisle, Ted (CHFS DMS)
 

If you go with Office, shoot for 2013;  the extra PDF support alone is worth the price of admission.

 

Ted

 

From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@...]
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 6:40 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

 

Bob,

            The first version of MS-Office with the Ribbon is Office 2007, which gives you an idea of how long ago the ribbon became the default.  Even if you were able to secure a copy Office 2003 I would strongly suggest you don't.  Official support for Office 2003 ended in 2014, and no one, including Freedom Scientific, is doing their ongoing development on top of non-supported versions of Office.  I'd suggest Office 2010, which has extended support through 2020, or Office 2013, which has extended support through 2023.

             I prefer a version of Office that's fully installed locally on the machine, and I think that Office 2013 was the last version that worked entirely locally.  Office 365 has a lot of web-based features and I think Office 2016 does, too, though I can't speak to that in detail.

             You may want to consider either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, as opposed to Microsoft Office, if cost is a factor and/or you just want to get a sense of what a full office suite is like.  Freedom Scientific should be able to tell you whether there is any JAWS support for either LibreOffice or OpenOffice, but those are the two biggest competitors to Microsoft Office and both are open-source projects that have been around for quite a while and that have large user bases.  Both of these suites can open files generated by MS-Office.

Brian


 

On Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 07:22 am, Lisle, Ted (CHFS DMS) <ted.lisle@...> wrote:
the extra PDF support

 Ted,

         Can you give just a couple of examples of what you're referring to?  Office 2010 definitely has the ability to, for instance, save a Word document in PDF format, but I'm wondering what else may have popped up in Office 2013.

Brian


Lisle, Ted (CHFS DMS)
 

Amen.   I learned that tab trick after getting hopelessly lost a time or two.

 

From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@...]
Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2016 8:10 PM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: buying Microsoft Office first time

 

On Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 04:25 pm, Robert Logue <bobcat11@...> wrote:

Actually there is a serious difference to me with ribbons.  That is they are not liniar navigation. 

 Robert,

           I've had an extended private back an forth on the Ribbons with another regular here off-forum.  He taught me a new things and, I hope, vice versa.

           The first thing he made me aware of is that the custom for going through menus was almost strictly using arrow keys.  That's definitely the direct route to madness with the ribbons.  TAB and SHIFT+TAB are the ways to move sequentially through (and even between, if you keep on going) the various ribbon groups, which can be thought of as submenus if you think of the ribbon as a whole as a menu.  You can move directly from one group to the next one/previous one, using CTRL+Right Arrow/Left Arrow.  Eventually this can move you out of the Ribbon to a couple of other controls that are in "the general area" but are not in the ribbon itself.  I'll use WordPad and the Home Ribbon as an example.  I always teach my clients to invoke a ribbon with whatever ALT+letter combination is appropriate, ALT+H in this example, then to use a single TAB to enter the rightmost group in a ribbon, and that's virtually always the Clipboard group.  If you keep hitting TAB you will go through each control in the Clipboard group then, once you're on the last one, the next tab takes you to the Font group, and "lather, rinse, repeat" with using TAB or SHIFT+TAB if you want to go forward/backward one control in a given group.  When you hit the last control in a group, the next TAB will always take you to the first control in the next group over, so in WordPad that would be Clipboard, Font, Paragraph, Insert, and Editing.  Of course, once one is familiar with what's in each of the groups you certainly don't want to TAB yourself to death, so, you can use the CTRL+Right Arrow/Left Arrow to jump between them then TAB to the specific control you want.  Finally, for controls you find are part of your "greatest hits" collection it's worth learning the keyboard shortcut that gets you directly to it.  For example, the Font selection dropdown can be reached directly, and ready for you to change it, using ALT+H+F1 in WordPad.  Since other programs, e.g., MS-Word, have a lot more options in the Font Group than WordPad does the keyboard shortcuts will vary a bit.  Getting directly to font selection in all the MS-Office programs is ALT+H+FF and, so far, all of the controls that "span programs" in Office also share the same keyboard shortcut in each of them.

           The various ribbons in MS-Office are customizable, wildly so in fact.  If you bring up the File tab, Options Option, which I suggest you do with ALT+F,T, "Customize Ribbon" is one of the options.  Getting into the mechanics of customizing the ribbon itself is outside the scope of this brief conversation.  Since the Ribbon content is dependent on the program in question, though many similarities exist between the various programs, you have to customize the ribbon(s) for each program within that program.  But the previously mentioned key sequence will bring up the Options dialog in any of the Office suite programs.  I generally discourage customizing the ribbons, or at least extensively so, because if you have to use another machine with the "usual Office default layout" you often end up quickly lost and/or frustrated because you're not accustomed to the typical layout.  But only you know whether that's a legitimate concern in your own circumstances.

           Try what I mentioned in the first paragraph for navigating in any ribbon and I suspect you'll find it a lot less hellish than you currently do.  

Brian